Remotely sensing potential climate change tipping points across scales

Timothy M. Lenton*, Jesse F. Abrams, Annett Bartsch, Sebastian Bathiany, Chris A. Boulton, Joshua E. Buxton, Alessandra Conversi, Andrew M. Cunliffe, Sophie Hebden, Thomas Lavergne, Benjamin Poulter, Andrew Shepherd, Taylor Smith, Didier Swingedouw, Ricarda Winkelmann, Niklas Boers

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Potential climate tipping points pose a growing risk for societies, and policy is calling for improved anticipation of them. Satellite remote sensing can play a unique role in identifying and anticipating tipping phenomena across scales. Where satellite records are too short for temporal early warning of tipping points, complementary spatial indicators can leverage the exceptional spatial-temporal coverage of remotely sensed data to detect changing resilience of vulnerable systems. Combining Earth observation with Earth system models can improve process-based understanding of tipping points, their interactions, and potential tipping cascades. Such fine-resolution sensing can support climate tipping point risk management across scales.

Original languageEnglish
Article number343
Number of pages15
JournalNature Communications
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2024

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